GE (GE) Exec Sees Limited, ‘Niche’ Market for Fuel Cells (FCEL) (BLDP) (PLUG)

While fuel cell stocks have been booming, will the run be rather short lived?

General Electric (NYSE: GE) thinks sto. Speaking at GE’s Power Conversion today, engineering chief Vlatko Vlatkovic said the company studied the product and determined that it will almost be a niche product. The executive commented, It’s almost impossible to do a good fuel cell without platinum as a catalyst … Very little goes in, but if you scale it up, there’s not enough platinum in the world.

Fuel cells operate by using hydrogen or nat gas to generate power via chemical reaction. The most-common fuel cell technology uses platinum or palladium, which are some of the earth’s rarest elements.

Names like FuelCell (Nasdaq: FCEL), Plug Power (Nasdaq: PLUG), and Ballard Power (Nasdaq: BLDP) have been active recently on expectations of astounding growth, particularly within the auto segment. FuelCell CEO Andy Marsh recently commented that the company can reclaim around 90 percent of platinum after is useful life, noting that the metal use just a small cost to the company. He doesn’t see that as a deterrant to growth moving forward.

Shares of FuelCell, Plug Power, and Ballard Power are all positive Thursday.


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